- Posted June 30, 2014 by
Aguas Calientes, Peru, Peru
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Travel photo of the day
New life at ancient Machu Picchu
Dreessen said, "The immensity and beauty of Machu Picchu is really breathtaking. As I walked around, then sat and gazed at it, and pondered what I was seeing and its history, what stays with me is how the Inca people built their sacred city — with rudimentary tools and massive rocks into temples that still stand — and how they built it to adapt to nature with an understanding and appreciation for their place within it."
- taliaday, CNN iReport producer
Everything was made to last - forever - at Machu Picchu. Water still runs in the trenches from atop the mountain. The structures, built with giant rocks hauled by hands of many, are still in place.
Llamas still live here, domestic and brought here because tourists like llamas. I saw hundreds of people take selfies with them, feed them and in some cases, follow them around when they wanted to be alone, to be close to them.
In late afternoon, after the biggest crowds had left, I stopped to sit on the stairs near the Temple of the Condor, and stare out at the mountains beyond and think about what I saw.
A mother llama and a baby, left alone now for some time, nuzzled, in front of the perfect Machu Picchu backdrop.
I slowly walked up and took the photo, thinking it was a special moment in nature to capture, an ultimate travel photo for the World Wonder, and a good reminder of the link people - and animals and us with them - have, across all time periods.